On the road again

Janjanbureh, aka Georgetown, is two thirds up the Gambia river to its source. It’s a sleepy very basic village with little to do besides river travel. It’s incredibly hot here, all surfaces burn your hand, even my camera and smartphone were so hot I am surprised they didn’t shut down. There are hippos here but unfortunately I didn’t see any. Also saw a horrendous slave prison, where the kept 90 people in a dark basement with a dirty mud floor, very low ceiling, and heavy chains.

Went back two hours to the border checkpoint to Senegal, then spent nearly eight hours scrunched in a sept-siège, an old French seven-seat station wagon, on my way to Saint-Louis. That was the most uncomfortable ride I ever did. Together it took me 11 hours for 540km. On the Gambian side there is a police or army checkpoint every 20km or so, and the Senegalese side has speed bumps on highways, or sections of highway that are literally off-road.

It would have been faster if the lights on the car had worked. The dashboard was lit up like a Christmas tree with warning lights, at least when the driver punched it just right because otherwise it was completely dead. At sunset, the driver was repairing the broken lights with a length of wire which he stripped with his teeth.